Me and my sister flanking cousin Mia. True Johnson Women.

Me and my sister flanking cousin Mia. True Johnson Women.

My sister is visiting this week, and it’s always an event when she and I get together. For years, we’ve lived in totally different parts of the country (currently, I’m in FL, and she’s in Maine), and we only see each other 1-2 times per year.  We’re both trying to make a better effort and shoot for 3 times minimum. And, of course, there’s always Skype and FaceTime.

Our relationship now spans 50 years.  She’s the elder by 5 years. She’s the one who held my hand and led me to first day at elementary school. She’s the one who taught me to drive a car, which required time and a lot of faith! She’s the one I tried to emulate because she was pretty and self-assured, had so many friends and always seemed to know just where she was going. I have always thought my sister was the cool one.

You can imagine my surprise when I found out a few years ago that my sister thought I was the cool one.  Turns out she admired my ability to break from the crowd and pave my own way (hmm, here I thought I just never fit in…), and she thought that chasing a career in theater and writing instead of business was creative and brave (well, I guess, especially on those days when you don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills).

At Walt Disney World with Dad.

At Walt Disney World with Dad.

I admire my sister. I see similarities in our personalities and I can trace much of it back to our shared childhood.  I also see that we’ve become different people, unique individuals who weigh circumstances and make different choices.

Being a writer, that naturally makes me think about characters and some of the classic sister relationships I’ve enjoyed in books.  From Little Women to The Other Boleyn Girl, from Lizzie and Jane Bennett in Pride & Prejudice to Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility.  From Scarlet O’Hara’s somewhat adversarial relationship with her natural sisters to the sister-like bond she forms with her rival Melanie Wilkes. And more recently, the relationship between Katniss and Primrose Everdeane (don’t spoil it for me–I haven’t read all three books yet!).

What’s the most memorable sister relationship you’ve enjoyed in a book? What is it about sisterly relationships that draws us into their story?

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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12 Responses to Sisters

  1. Amy R says:

    The most memorable sister relationship I can think of recently are from Edie’s Stardust Miracle – Becky and Sarah. They both went through so much together but continued to be the other one’s support when it was needed. I think that relationship was one of the best things about the book. I have a sister, but we live about an hour apart. We both work full time, have families to take care of so we don’t get to spend a lot of time together. I love reading about sisters! Thanks, Amy!
    Amy R`s last blog was …Review: Sweet Chaos by Misty Evans

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Amy, how sweet! I didn’t even think of my book when I read this blog. And I’m sure if you or your sister needed help, you’d be there for each other. If mine needed me, I know I would be there for her.

  2. Willa says:

    I always think about Nora Robert’s Montana Sky when thinking about sisters. Three women who share the same father and have a different mother. They have never met before their father’s funeral but by the terms of his will they have to stay together on a ranch for a year.

    The struggle, fighting, resentment and bonding was great to read – and some hilarious moments too 😛

  3. Hmm, can’t come with a sister-story, but you’ve made me call my sister this morning! 🙂

  4. Edie Ramer says:

    Amy, I enjoyed this sister post. I have to go with the classics, Little Women and Pride & Prejudice. Little Women, especially, because of what happened to Beth. That was heartbreaking.

  5. I think of my favorite sister stories is FREDERICKA by Georgette Heyer. The 2 sisters, Freddie and Charis are part of a large, parentless family. I love the caring they show for each other. It’s just a great book about family, growing up, finding love, etc.
    I’m blessed to have such great cousins as you and your sister, Amy!
    Mia’s Musings`s last blog was …The Left Knee

  6. Amy,

    Such an interesting topic.

    I guess my first novel sister act was the March sisters in Little Women. I read that book much earlier than many of my friends because I learned to read well by age 3 and my mom’s aunt, a first grade teacher recognized my ability and got me the book. It was also one of my mother’s favorite books of all time. So that example of sister relationships has a serious hold on my heart.

    More recently, I’ve never been able to get out of my mind the 3 sisters in Nora Roberts, Born In trilogy. Perhaps it is my Irish heritage, perhaps the mystical setting surrounding them, or perhaps because their differences, made me so aware of the differences and connections with my 2 much younger sisters.

    Very interesting topic and I so hope you have a great visit with your sister.
    Casey Clifford`s last blog was …A Cautionary Tale

  7. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Amy,

    As one of three girls in my family, I can tell you I have one sister I get along with and one much less so. And I have no memories like you do – unfortunately! But I wish I did. It sounds like a special relationship for you and I’m glad. We never have enough of those.

    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …An awesome way to start the day!

  8. Amy,
    I don’t have a sister (just one very cool brother, but he and I are really different!), so I’ve learned what little I know about sisters only from what I witnessed in real life (my mom has 2 sisters and 2 brothers) and from fiction (mostly the Austen sibs you mentioned, LOL). Glad you and your sis have such a terrific relationship!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …“How I Met My Mr. (or Ms.) Darcy”

  9. Liz Kreger says:

    I grew up with three sisters. All completely different. Eldest had little to do with us “little kids”. Had five brothers as well. There is a fairly big gap between the “big kids” and the “little kids”. Younger sister has always been handicapped, but we’ve always been very close. Still are. Sister that I envied when growing up turned out not so envy worthy. Really too bad.

    As far as fictional sisters, I really like the relationship Dayndra Jones did with her Grim Reaper series. Adverse through misunderstanding, but brought together through the course of her series. Enjoyed that. Personally I enjoy seeing adverse relationships between sisters and why. Makes for interesting reading.

    Enjoyed the blog, Amy. You and your sister look a lot alike.

  10. Misty Evans says:

    I’m jealous of your sister bond, Amy. My older sister – and only sister – passed away a few months ago. There was a big age difference, so she was married and had two kids before I was even born. We were never close, but I miss her. I’m very close to my husband’s sister and one of his cousins. Also, I’m blessed to have many, many sister friends – some of which are MM ladies.

    Little Women was one of my favorite books as a girl and it’s still on my keeper shelf. I also loved the bond between Mary and Laura Ingalls in the Little House books. I’m glad that as a grown adult I can welcome supportive women into my life at any time, and that I’ve found many of these sisters of the heart via my writing career.

  11. Amy Atwell says:

    Here I blog about my sister, and then I don’t even show up to comment. Please bear with me, gang. Went to the doctor and learned that I do have a sinus infection, which is what’s sapping my energy and making it impossible to concentrate. Hoping the meds kick in by tomorrow!
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …The Classics Are, Well… Classic.

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